When you want to market yourself or your business and build professional relationships through networking, your business card plays a pivotal role. It can be difficult for people to remember all the professionals they meet at a business event, making it hard for them to follow up with you later.
Business cards remind them of you, your business, and how to get in touch with you quickly. An eye-catching, high-quality card can be a great way to make a strong first impression.
You want to be thoughtful about how you design your business card. A well-designed card can help you communicate ideas about your brand and keep your business at the forefront of potential customers’ minds. Whether you’re a small business owner or work for a large corporation, capitalizing on brand identity can help you with brand reach.
- Why custom business cards are important for your brand
- Determine your design ideas
- Gather design inspiration
- Choose your design tools
- Create your business card
- Review and refine
Why business cards are important for your brand
A professional business card and unique business logo play an important role in your business branding. When you speak to someone about your organization, you want to make sure they remember your business so they can continue the relationship later.
Potential clients need to be able to contact you if they’re interested in your services. One goal is to have them recognize your business when they come across your company in a different context. Repeated recognition can increase the chances of customers deciding to do business with you.
Custom business cards help cement your business in the minds of your connections, providing them with a regular reminder about your organization.
Step 1: Determine your design ideas
Think about the style and aesthetic you want for your business card and logo. Begin by considering the goals you have for your business card.
For example, a student looking for their first post-graduation job may have different goals from an established entrepreneur looking for new clients. Your goals will help you determine what information to include and how to organize the business card.
Next, consider the following features:
What information is included on a business card?
As you design your business card, have a list of the important information you should include. Some elements you’ll want to consider are:
- Company name. Display your company name prominently so people can easily identify the business you work for. You want people to develop strong, positive associations with you and your brand, so make your company name stand out.
- Company logo. Your company logo visually represents your business and what you offer. A quality logo also helps people recognize your brand when they encounter it across different channels. Positioning it in an eye-catching way can make your company logo more memorable. Read more about your software options and designing your logo.
- Company tagline. Adding a tagline or other catchy motto can help you further personalize your card. This can work if you have a particular phrase used in your company marketing content. The tagline helps capture what’s special about your brand and again enhances memorability.
- Contact information. You may have a variety of contact information to include. Include your phone number, the company website, and email address at a minimum.
- Company physical address. If you want people to visit you at a physical address, like a store, include this address on your business card.
- Individual name and contact information. Since your goal is to have the card recipient reach out to you, this is perhaps the most important element of the business card. If you’re creating business cards for your employees, include their personal information.
- Social media information. Social media can be a convenient way to contact people, so include key social media handles, such as your LinkedIn URL, if it’s a professional profile. If you regularly post on other platforms, like Twitter or Instagram, include those.
- QR code. A QR code can be convenient for people to connect with you. You might create a code that takes people to your company website or LinkedIn profile. Including one on your business card allows people to scan the card and receive whatever data you want to communicate.
Remember that you want your card recipients to be able to read the info on the card without reaching for a magnifying glass, so use at least 8-point font. You may have to select a subset of items from the list above in order to maintain readability. A double-sided or folded card can give you more space for printing.
Step 2: Gather design inspiration
Once you’ve identified the information to include, look at various business card designs to gather inspiration. Review business cards across different industries. Examine how businesses capture the elements of their design and where they draw attention to the card.
Look at their use of a matte or glossy finish. Your choice will vary depending on the look you want. Matte finishes generally work best with text-dominant cards, while glossy can be a great fit for cards with more color and design elements.
Consider the branding that other businesses wanted to capture and how that aligns with your business goals. Look at the placement of the different elements and how the cards use features like foil stamping, embossment, letterpressing, and cutting designs to accentuate different elements. You might even look at the portfolios of business card designers on Upwork to get a feel for what top-quality work looks like.
Step 3: Choose your design tools
Design software can help you create a professional design for your business card. You can also use online logo makers or business card makers. However, design software requires experience to get the most out of it.
While you have access to different business card templates that can guide the design process, working with a professional graphic designer can help you capitalize on the true potential of a business card. They’ll be able to help you communicate your brand and show you how to use design tools.
What’s the best software to create custom business cards?
Different platforms generally offer free templates you can use, so you don’t have to worry about creating your design from scratch.
Of course, working with a professional designer can make it easier to create the card you want. Check out this brief overview of software options. You can get a more in-depth look by reading our article on business card design software.
Canva offers various design options for users with different levels of experience. You can use one of its many templates or design something new.
This software offers unique card options, including icons and images, fonts, and color schemes. You can start using Canva with a free account or pay for the Pro version, which starts at about $119 per year.
Adobe Express offers free and paid options, with various templates to choose from. They’re easy to customize so that you can bring your preferred business card design option to life. You can also access unique fonts and photo-editing tools.
You can use Adobe Express on your computer or your mobile device. If you go with the premium plans, which cost $9.99 per month, you get extra features, such as more storage, access to more templates, stock photos, and an easier system for adding your business logo design and branding.
Jukebox Print also offers a free business card maker to help you create the right card. The platform offers templates that can help even a novice designer piece together what they want to create.
Those working with an experienced professional can use design-from-scratch options, such as line and shape tools, different card sizes, and customization.
Step 4: Create your business card
Now that you have the information for your card and the software you want to use, it’s time to create your business card. Follow these steps:
- Create an account with your desired design software.
- Gather your company logo and list of information.
- Select the template that fits your business card size.
- Add design elements and a custom logo to the card. Make sure your card doesn’t become too cluttered. You want the space to look organized so people can see the most important information.
- Add textual elements.
- Experiment with different fonts and topography. Prioritize legibility, using a font that’s large enough and clear enough for people to read.
- See how your card looks with different finishes. Make sure extra elements align well with your brand. A more formal brand might go with foil stamping and crisp corners. Meanwhile, a bold brand might want to complement that messaging with letterpressing.
- Finalize your card design and print a sample for review.
Step 5: Review and refine
Once you’ve created your business card, take the time to review and refine it. You don’t want to accidentally print a business card with a typo.
You also don’t want to make assumptions about the impression your design will make on outside eyes.
After you’ve created your prototype, seek others’ opinions on your card. You might ask friends and colleagues both in and outside your industry. Ask them to proofread the card, provide feedback about the messaging it offers, share how clear they find the card, and tell you if they think they’d remember the card after receiving it.
You may also want to reach out to a design professional. You can ask a freelancer to look at your design and offer feedback based on your goals and what they think can be improved.
Once you’re satisfied with your card design, print it. If you’re printing cards yourself, make sure you have a printer capable of printing on thicker cardstock. You’ll also need to get cards you can pop out of cardstock or have the tools to cut the cards neatly. Find business card paper that fits the standard business card shape and size.
Many professionals work with a printing service. For example, if you work with Canva, you can order your designed cards through Canva Print. You can also upload your design to printing platforms like Vistaprint and Jukebox Print
The cost of your print job can increase if you have any special features, such as special cuts, sizes, and finishes. However, designing a card that catches people’s attention can be worth the cost.
Hire a business card designer
A business card can help you make a strong impression on professional connections, making it easy for people to get in touch with you. Given the importance of business cards to networking, take your time with your card design and think about the elements you want to include and how you’ll place them.
Working with a professional business card designer on Upwork can simplify this process. With extensive experience in graphic design, these freelancers will have creative suggestions for combining the different elements you want for your business card.
If you’re a graphic designer who can create business cards, you can find projects on Upwork, the world’s work marketplace. Create a portfolio to showcase your finished designs, set prices, and bid on jobs. Get started now.
Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this article. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation. Prices are current at the time of writing and may change over time based on each service’s offerings.
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